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Anti-social behaviour guide

We have prepared the following guidance to help you work out what is and is not anti-social behaviour (ASB), what action you can take and what we can do to help.

Noise

Of the various types of ASB report we receive, noise from neighbours is one of the most common. Wherever you live, neighbours will have different lifestyles, opinions and values. No home is completely soundproof, and it is important that you are tolerant of each other and understand that part of being a good neighbour involves a certain amount of compromise.

For first-time occurrences of noise, it is important to consider that it could be a one-off incident such as a birthday party or bit of DIY. Although it may have disturbed you, there is always going to be a bit of noise that can be heard from neighbours.

Here are some tips on how to reduce the amount of noise you might make at home:

  • Keep TVs and music at a reasonable volume, especially in summer when open windows or doors can allow the noise to travel further.
  • Where possible, keep any sound equipment – speakers, TVs, etc – off of floors and away from walls that are connected to neighbouring properties.
  • If you can, reduce the bass volume as this will travel through walls and floors the most.
  • If you are having a party, let you neighbours know beforehand that there may be some noise, and be prepared to turn any music down if you are asked to.
  • Take care not to slam doors, particularly shared entrance doors to blocks of flats, and especially if it is late at night.
  • Remember that gardens are open and offer limited sound insulation – any noise outside will have a greater impact on your neighbours.
  • Try to arrange the timing of noisy household chores, such as vacuuming or putting on the washing machine, so that they are not done late at night or in the early hours of the morning.
  • If you have guests, remind them to keep noise to a minimum if they are leaving your home late at night or in the early hours.

For more advice on handling incidents of noise, please read our guide to dealing with different types of noise.

Arson

Arson is a criminal offence and must be reported to the police or fire brigade immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police or fire brigade, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

Assault

Assault is a criminal offence and must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

Verbal abuse or harassment

If the behaviour is of a criminal nature, you should report it to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Harassment includes vandalism – such as property damage or graffiti – that is targeted against an individual.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

If the behaviour has been ongoing, please report this on our ASB reporting form. Include the dates and times of any incidents as we will need this information to help decide what to do.

If you suspect that the abuse or harassment has been motivated by yours or someone’s disability, gender-identity, race, religion, beliefs, or sexual orientation, this is classed as a hate crime. Please read the section on hate crime for further advice.

Drug use/dealing

Drug use and drug dealing are criminal offences and must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

If the behaviour has been ongoing, your Housing Officer may ask you to record the dates and times of the incidents on diary sheets to help us assess what action to take.

Drug dealers and gangs can sometimes take advantage of vulnerable people and use their property as a base for their activities – this type of crime is known as ‘cuckooing’. Children have also been exploited by criminal gangs and used to supply drugs. If you believe someone is being exploited for illegal activity, please report this to the police on 101. In an emergency, always call 999.

Domestic abuse

If you are a victim of domestic abuse and wish to speak to someone, please contact us and speak to your Housing Officer. Please be assured that we will not send letters about this or discuss your case with anyone else who may answer your phone. In an emergency always call the police on 999.

If you have concerns that another Worthing Homes resident is experiencing domestic abuse, please contact us to let us know. If you feel something is happening now and someone’s safety is at risk, please report this to the police straight away.

For more support, please see our help page for victims of domestic abuse.

Gun or knife crime

Gun crime and knife crime are criminal offences and must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

Issues involving pets and animals

Residents need our permission to keep a pet at their property, and permission will not usually be given in flats unless there is access to a separate enclosed garden.

If you have concerns about the welfare of a pet, please report this to the RSPCA or your Local Authority dog warden.

In some cases, dogs can become aggressive and bite other animals or people. The law says any dog can be considered dangerous if it is not kept under control. In fact, the dog does not have to bite anyone – it could just show aggressive behaviour that makes someone fear for their safety. If you find yourself in this situation, please contact the police immediately to report the dangerous dog.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them.

Dog owners can be given an on-the-spot fine if they do not clear up after their dog. If you witness a dog owner not clearing up after their dog in a public area, please contact your local council to report the incident. If it took place on Worthing Homes property, please let us know and we will investigate.

For advice on dog or pet noise, please see our guide to dealing with different types of noise.

Threats of abuse or violence

The threat of abuse or violence is a criminal offence and must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

If the behaviour has been ongoing, please report this on our ASB reporting form. Include the dates and times of any incidents as we will need this information to help decide what to do.

Hate crime

Hate crime is defined as crimes committed against someone because of their disability, gender-identity, race, religion, beliefs, or sexual orientation. This can include threatening behaviour, assault, robbery, damage to property, inciting others to commit hate crimes or harassment.

Hate crime is a criminal offence and must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

If the behaviour has been ongoing, please report this on our ASB reporting form. Include the dates and times of any incidents as we will need this information to help decide what to do.

You can also find help and support on the Stop Hate UK website, including details of their 24-hour help line.

Sexual offences

Sexual offences must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them and agree the next steps with you and the police.

Drunk or rowdy behaviour

If you witness drunk or rowdy behaviour that is of a criminal nature, this must be reported to the police immediately – if it is an emergency call 999, otherwise call 101. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

Once you have reported the incident to the police, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. You can call us or complete our online ASB reporting form (please bear in mind that there may be a delay in picking up your report if submitted online).

Please make sure you include the crime reference number and details of any officers that are involved so that we can contact them.

If the behaviour has been ongoing, your Housing Officer may ask you to record the dates and times of the incidents on diary sheets to help us assess what action to take.

Issues involving vehicles

Abandoned vehicles

If you believe that a vehicle has been abandoned, please check with your neighbours and local community to see if they know who owns it.

If you have made enquiries and are unable to identify the owner, note down the registration number and the make of the vehicle and check online to see if it has a valid MOT and vehicle tax.

If the vehicle doesn’t have a valid MOT, or isn’t taxed, you should report it to your Local Authority. In Sussex, you can report this to the council via the Operation Crackdown website.

If you suspect that the vehicle is stolen, please contact the police on 101 – they will attend and, if it is stolen, recover the vehicle.

Obstructive parking

If a neighbour is parking in a way that obstructs the entrance to your property or allocated parking space, try speaking to them about this as they may not realise it is causing a problem.

If the problem continues, you can take the following action:

  • If it is on a public verge or highway, and the vehicle is parked breaking local parking regulations, contact your local council who may be able to issue a Penalty Charge notice.
  • If it is parked in a dangerous way and needs to be removed immediately, please contact the police on 101 who will arrange removal if necessary.
  • If it is on our land, please report this to us and we will contact your neighbour to resolve the issue.

Vehicle repairs

If you are being disturbed by a neighbour carrying out vehicle repairs, start by speaking to them as they may not be aware that they are disturbing you. If the problem continues and you believe an offence is occurring, then you can either:

This advice applies only to those repairing vehicles as part of a business. If a neighbour is repairing their own vehicle or bike, this would not generally be considered as anti-social behaviour.

Residents must have permission from Worthing Homes to run a business from their property. We would not give permission for this if it is likely to cause a nuisance or disturbance.

Speeding or dangerous vehicles

If a road traffic offence – such as speeding or a dangerous driving – has been committed, you should report this to the police.

Fly tipping

Large items of rubbish that are left in communal areas are unsightly and can be a fire risk or a trip hazard.

Fly tipping can include anything from a bag of rubbish to a shopping trolley or mattress. We do not have contracts to remove bulky items from our blocks so residents should make their own arrangements to dispose of any bulk waste that will not be collected by the local council refuse collection.

If you notice rubbish that you believe has been fly-tipped, please check with your neighbours to see if it belongs to them and if they have already made arrangements to clear it – it may, for example, be due to be collected the next day.

If you have made enquiries and confirmed that it does not belong to anyone, or if the rubbish is causing a dangerous obstruction, please report this to us. If the rubbish is not on our land, please report the issue to the local council.

Graffiti

Graffiti is classed as criminal damage and can be reported to the police; however, they will not remove it.

If the graffiti is personally targeting you or members of your household, this should be reported to the police. If you are concerned about your safety, it is crucial to let them know.

If the graffiti is on Worthing Homes property, please report it to us and we will arrange for it to be removed.

If the graffiti is not on our property, please report it to your local council.

Unsanitary conditions or hoarding

If you believe a neighbour is creating or living in unsanitary conditions, is hoarding, or is not able to look after their home properly, please contact us.

If you are concerned that a possibly vulnerable adult is living in potentially dangerous conditions, you can also inform your Local Authority’s Adult Social Care department.

If you believe that a child is living in unsanitary conditions, please inform your Local Authority’s Child Services department.

You can find out more about hoarding disorder on the NHS website.